The flawed way Netflix measures views leaves TV stuck previously

AUSTRALIAN comedian Hannah Gadsby recently came up with a pithy description of Netflix: an “amoral algorithm cult”. She’d know. It had been Gadsby’s Netflix special Nanette that launched her to international fame. She chose to describe the streaming giant in those conditions after an anonymous leak revealed information regarding the company’s system for rewarding creators predicated on algorithmic predictions of audience numbers.

When Netflix makes decisions in what shows to get or cancel, their executives often cite “the algorithm”, an interior tool that crunches data about viewership – and is implicitly more objective when compared to a person. Spoiler alert: the machine …

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